Discovering the Heart of My Nudist Desires

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In the first installment of this series, I described the beginnings of my long and complicated relationship with nudity. Entering high school, my love/hate relationship with nudity became more complicated . . .

I grew fascinated by the thought of naked men and being naked with them but also terrified at the same time.

My parents actually encouraged me not to fear nakedness in the locker room. They half-jokingly told me how they’d had to shower in high school after gym class, and that while embarrassing at first, you get used to it.This didn’t calm my nerves, though: being naked in front of my classmates.

This didn’t calm my nerves, though: being naked in front of my classmates.

My worries were ultimately for naught, as I’d find out we were never made to shower at my middle and high school. School showering had basically gone extinct.

Around the age of thirteen, my parents got the family fast internet. One can assume how this would end for a budding thirteen-year-old, getting fast internet for the first time.

One day out of curiosity, I googled the phrase “naked men,” and I got more than I bargained for. I came across some of the most rancid gay porn, mostly oral sex. I never knew oral sex was even a thing; horrified by what I saw, I nearly puked.

I learned to navigate my way around the porn for more simple images of naked men. Unfortunately, my parents noticed my Google search history, and I got in trouble.

I managed to lie my way out of the situation, saying I was simply curious what the male body looks like after puberty. My parents bought it, but their firm warning never to do it again didn’t ground me any less.

I did it again. And again. And again.

When I saw these men, many abstract thoughts and feelings ran through my head. Thoughts like:

Wow, he’s letting the whole world see him!

Wow, he also has a penis and it looks kind of like mine!

Wow, he’s being totally vulnerable; I want to be like that or be vulnerable with him!

Ultimately, these feelings led to arousal and eventually masturbation.

I’d find another way to get my jollies and entertain my fascination with nudity while avoiding porn: nudist sites.

I found thousands of videos and pictures of naked men with no erotic or pornographic subtext, all doing activities “normal” clothed people would do: playing tennis, swimming, running triathlons, partying, watching movies, etc. Just about anything clothed people would do but with considerably more bouncing and jiggling! There were even news-type shows where naked interviewers interviewed other nudists about how much freedom they’d found in the lifestyle.

I even found Christian nudists talking about how non-sexual nudity was like going back to the Garden of Eden, celebrating God’s design of our bodies. I was hooked, and I wanted to be like that.

I wanted guys I could interact naked with, minus any erotic subtext or activities … while still getting my jollies on the side.

But what they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them, right?

I didn’t have any close friends, but I wanted a taste of this vulnerability. Even if it was on my own.

What better place to try out nudism than at the local park? A densely forested park with dirt trails looked perfect. When I arrived, I checked the parking lots to make sure I was clear. Then I entered the park, stripped down, and walked long stretches of the trails in nothing but my tennis shoes.

It was quite an adrenaline rush. Being naked outdoors is quite different than being naked in your own bathroom.

I wish I could say I only got naked to feel total freedom — and while that was partly the case, I still got a strong sexual thrill out of it. One could say I was an exhibitionist, but I wanted to do this privately without any hikers seeing me.

Needless to say, getting naked outdoors was very risky; thankfully, I was never caught. I was addicted, though, and I couldn’t stop myself from going back to that park time and again.

Why was I doing this? I was in high school and had no friends, never any close friends growing up. This bizarre calling often feels birthed from a deep need.

I wanted other men to see me and know every part of me. To see that I have a penis which shows that I’m a man. To see every part and imperfection and not be judged and still be loved.

I want God to see every part of me and love me, too.

I’d always enjoyed those old-fashioned images of boy friendships: skinny dipping at the old swimmin’ hole, goofing off in the showers after gym class, or maybe even going streaking on a dare. I’d longed for friends and brothers to join on such activities, but I’d never had it.

My nudist desires have never been entirely sexual. I’ve long known that it comes from a deep desire for intimacy. To be known fully as a man by other men.

Despite my butt-naked exploits on the trail, I was not done with the nudist world.

And it was not done with me.

To be continued . . .

Have you ever felt fixated or addicted by nudity or nudist culture? Or does nudity among other men not appeal to you?

* Photo courtesy tir_na_nog, Creative Commons.

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  • My nudist phase began when I was about eleven. It was in the shower at summer camp. It was here that I got my first erection (that I remember). I got out as quickly as I could, with soap in my hair. Few people saw, but I was still labeled a faggot. I didn’t even know what that meant.
    I was still enamored with the thought of nudity, being seen and seeing others. No one heard of the internet yet, so had to rely on seeing others nude by spending the night. I wanted to see my best friend naked, but it never happened.
    The first time I daw one was about the time I was getting pubic hair. I told my younger cousin who was curious and wanted to see. So I let him. He was impressed and undressed for me. We always undressed for each other after that which unfortunately lead to our experiments with gay sex.

  • mike

    I think it’s common to look for causation for our compulsions or addictions. Yet, it often doesn’t solve the problem. Sure, underlying traumas or deficits from childhood exacerbate those neurotic tendencies and it is good to examine and try to heal.
    I blamed my drug addiction on my repressed SSAs and felt the latter were due to a desert childhood. But neither was the case. All are separate issues. I now believe these were innate. Both drug addiction and SSAs are brain disorders genetic in origin — the flesh as the Bible calls it!
    I’m thinking Eugene you’ve found peace with your nudity addiction because as you say “I’ve long known that it comes from a deep desire for intimacy.” and recent friendships have filled that deficit. I’m glad for you. I guess I’ll have to wait as your story unfolds to learn where nudity exists presently.
    Nudity is a non-issue for me, but I have my own issues. While drug addiction is history, other addictions (food, exercise, internet, etc.) prevail and are a struggle. And SSA continues despite having filled all

    • Jim

      Hi, Mike. I suspect genetics in my own SSA, as well. How do you relate to being “born that way” and a follower of Christ? For me, assuming it is genetic, I see it as being like the man in John 9 who was born broken so that the glory of God could be revealed. It isn’t something that I mourn, but I am learning to look for how to relate to it in a godly way (or resolve it away, if God would permit).

      • mike

        Hello Jim. YES, in John 9 Jesus reveals that purpose trumps causation. The disciples ask for the cause of the blindness, but Jesus doesn’t go there. Instead as you do Jesus speaks of great purpose in the disability. There is purpose and glory in suffering. When we suffer when it’s not our fault (like SSA) then great glory awaits us not only in Heaven but here as Jesus visits us in our suffering and becomes the God of all Comfort of 2 Corinth. 1:3.
        When I speak genetics I mean original sin of Genesis which corrupted our DNA like a virus and led to physical death as well as a multitude of physical and mental conditions that get passed down the line.

        • Jim

          Amen! Praise God for being the God of all comfort.

          I can say it no better than the Paul “….there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
          For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
          And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
          Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”
          I want to be strong. SSA, under God’s control, is my, indeed, our, path to His perfect strength.

      • george

        Jim. Of course people are born that way. Why to deny it! I am close to 40/and I have been SSA whole my life..I remember that since 3 or 4. I mean this was attraction to same sex . not necessary sexual, but it was attraction. It did not change, it got stronger. And most of the SSA people say the same, my friends from real life and on line.
        I always wonder why some SSA people help those ‘hate the sin love the sinner’ ideologist preachers?
        Because when SSA people say they have chosen it, this is what those hatemongers want to hear.
        May be they have chosen, bur there are plantybof us, SSA men and women who think it is genetic.

        Peace.

        • Eddie

          Hello George. I’m in my 40s and I can remember when I came to realize my first SSA inclinations at 4-5 years old. Like you I wasn’t *sexually* attracted to certain males, but was attracted nonetheless. I’m willing to entertain a genetic component involved with SSA, but the nuture argument does offer (IMHO) some credence. For starters, like you I don’t buy the argument that sexuality is a choice. Ok? However, I think the nuture argument has credibility with me because based on environmental factors or the lack there of certain factors. In my case, I think my SSA was exacerbated by my emotionally neglectful father. Based on this I sought out big brother and other surrogate father figures with other men. Sadly none of these endeavors ever took root into a real friendship. My 2 cents.

          • george

            Come on Eddy, there are many boys who have never had fathers, (my relatives, friends, neighbors) and they are straight. There were boys with only mother and 4 sisters and are straight. There are boys who have a great father, uncles, brothers, men around, hunting, fishing, doing men stuff..but, they are gays. So I don’t agree with these father /male figure theory of course.
            Thanks for your insight though.

          • Eugene Heffron

            Well the nature vs nurture argument is another blog for another time (not written by me though, that’d be too tough). I’m certainly not saying my lack of non sexual nudity made me SSA. I’ll definitely say it influenced how my sexuality works, even if I were truly born SSA, my nudity obsession would probably still be nurture defined. Similar to how you might have straight people who suffered physical abuse in the past and become obsessed with S&M type of stuff later on. I have noticed its very common amongst SSA men both side A and B to have a thing for nudity and its common to see them experiment with nudism. Perhaps talking about it we can find a commonality in our experiences that relates to feeling whole.

          • george

            Even though I consider my self SSA person (b side? ) I don’t remember exactly which is which..I don’t have desire for male sex. It is more emotional , body attraction…or as you have said- male nudity attracts …
            What I believe is that sexual orientation is in born, both, osa or ssa. But when abused, a person straight or SSA, will have some sexual issues complicated….
            I hardly believe it is nature not narture.

        • I certainly wouldn’t have chosen this hell either. I think the worst this for me is the culture telling me I have to live this way because I was born this way. Some say I need psychiatric help. Are there rules and who made them? Rules are meant for breaking, and there is no fate, but what we make.

        • Fred

          Because you have complete control over your actions. You don’t choose temptation or attraction, but lust and beyond is a choice. It’s not that you chose to struggle with homosexuality, but if you are gay, you chose that life. That is why a majority of people on this site choose to not identify as gay, just as “struggling”. Hope this maybe cleared it up. The sin of homosexuality is completely a choice, but the temptation to do so is not.

          • george

            So Paul says in Corinthians, if a man is burning and can’t control sexual urges he must get married. So what a gay/SSA person must to do if he can not Handel the sexual urges? If he is burning?

          • You’re speaking about 1st Corinthians 7 is that correct, George? Actually, Paul didn’t say “must” in that context. And, if I can be honest, I’ve found that it is best (for me personally) never to try an seperate the personal application of Scripture toward my own life, as if there’s a category of “gay” vs. “straight” application. There simply isn’t. There is only human application, as it applies to our own individual brokenness and such.

            In fact, whether they admit it to us or not, “non SSA” guys deal with all of the exact same masculine insecurity issues that we do. Their brokenness just manifests itself in different outward ways than ours do. But broken men in general… We’re really all the same at that deeper level of where our broken souls all cry out for true healing.

            Another application Paul shares is the focus of our minds in such situations. We all know that “resistance is futile” in that regard (yeah, I’m a recovering Star Trek fan, too, lol). But what I’m saying is that resisting unwanted lusts, thoughts, temptations, etc., is simply not a good strategy. We actually have to train ourselves (and our minds) to replace such things with something good… Something legitimate… Something that isn’t sexual. In other words, the void that cries out to be fulfilled must indeed be fulfilled. Our task is to intentionally reach toward the good things (and the grace of God) to fill those voids up.

            Take a look at the passage in Philippians 4:8-9. That’s where I’m coming from on this.

            Blessings to you, bro! We all struggle with such things.

          • george

            We do ..especially those ssa people destined to lonely lives with additional mental disorders

        • ‘Born this way’ means that one can’t change their ways. I view this as fatalistic. We are free to be whoever we want to be. ‘Born this way’ is more propaganda from the LGBT community.

          • george

            No you can’t change your attractions. You can resist/oppose them. I am not a lgbt propagandist. I am a man who is SSA , who only have had relationtips with women, but it can’t help to change my attractions to my gender. I am still SSA, no matter how I prayed and fasted and later how many times I had sex with women. Yes people are born this way.

          • I am not advocating that we can change our attractions. We can’t; but we can change our behaviors.

          • george

            Yes changing behaviour is possible, but especially for young SSA people it is not easy.
            And changing behavior does not change orientation/attraction.

    • Eugene Heffron

      Well when I look at my past a lot makes sense when I sort of see my thoughts lead me to become obsessed with nudity in the midst of SSA. As for genetics, I feel like I’m more on the nurture side of things but that’s just my opinion. I can’t say I know for sure though.

      • mike

        There are those who advocate more nudity!
        If the obsession with nudity is due to lack of nurture than ‘redeeming’ nudity would make sense. This, some say, would even reduce the negative erotic side of SSA if that too is nurture related.
        But, when one looks into the Bible there is nothing there that tells us that one’s temptations can be reduced by finding the nurture cause of them. The Bible spends no time explaining what causes individual temptations except to tell us that they come from the flesh which is beyond repair or cure.

  • Kevin Frye

    Pictures or it didn’t happen.

    • Eugene Heffron

      Oh Kevin…. then again, my butt would look great plastered all over YOB!

      • Eddie

        “Then I entered the park, stripped down, and walked long stretches of the trails in nothing but my tennis shoes.”

        I must say you were certainly brazen. No judgment brother. Only time I was ever so brave was my skinny dipping beach retreat at nighttime, of course. Felt a little like an exibitionist myself.

  • Eddie

    There were moments in my life I did get fixated by nudity not so much nudist culture. When I was younger I came across a Tarzan film that sent my impressionable self rather over the edge. I saw this masculine he-man character wearing little more than a loincloth fighting his enemies and protecting the innocent. Much like a primitive superhero that I wanted to emulate. The male envy kicked in and I began wearing nothing, but shorts around the house for a short period. At the time my body was undergoing puberty and I started sleeping in the nude for a brief spell. That was until I discovered masturbation as an insomnia remedy. Nudist culture interest didn’t start much later like 10 years ago as I came across an article talking about a nudist club locally operating. I did reach out to their representative, but got cold feet in the end. Male nudity is very conditional with me. I do find it appealing perhaps envious to see well fit male bodies naked and vulnerable, yet I am drawn to go deeper to find out what type of man they are as to their personality and character. To delve into whether they have inner beauty. I’ve gotten naked with guys on more than one occasion and I have to say getting to know them internally mitigates any sexual or carnal appetites I have towards them. I tend to get drawn to guys who may not be super attractive externally by the world’s superficial standards. However, they possess other intrinsic qualities that appeal to me and I want me to be their friend, not their lover.

    • Brian

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who found loincloths interesting, though not necessarily in a sexual/fetish-y way. I grew up in Canada, and was always intrigued by the way the BSA, unlike BSC, encouraged dress-up in breechcloths and so-forth, and began to explore old “hobby Indian” books, and making breechcloths to wear. I had some really attractive friends, and wished for a long time that I could share this part of my life (loincloth interest) with them, but I never did.

      There was something about the freedom, connection, and humility I associated with wearing loincloths, that I really wanted to share with my friends, so I imagined plenty of camping-trips and campfire-nights, that would lead to such intimacy between us that we would end up in the buff. It never happened, and it wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I discovered primitive living-skills camps, where attractive guys, and not-so-attractive guys could live that back-to-nature lifestyle I hoped would deepen friendships, though I never figured out a way to meet guys who experienced SSA AND were into primitive skills–seemed that every guy who was into the hobby was OSA, and rather a homophobe.

      (Sorry, the mention of Tarzan films spurred memories of my own loincloth fascination. I wanted to enjoy nakedness with my classmates, up until junior-high, when I started putting-on weight, and was frustrated by the lack of a wrestling team at my schools–I always liked the idea of being a wrestler…)

      • Eddie

        Not a problem Brian. Your post also rekindled some old childhood memories of my summer camp days with the BSA. My first exposure to breechcloths was worn by the BSA staff running the summer camp during a nightly ceremony. My gut reaction was “Whoa, these guys are naked under these vests and breechcloths!” When I reviewed my BSA manual (circa 1979 ed.) it had a small section on primitive camping as you mentioned and showed pictures of guys wearing just breechcloths and not much else. They also seemed to be “camping” like they were living the lifestyle of Native Americans. Needless to say I won’t get into a discussion about “cultural appropriation” of Native Americans. I was mesmerized by the staff being so open and vulnerable in their style of dress wearing little more than a small vest and two cloths each the size of a handkerchief for below the waist. Quite the experience and a bit envious of them in the end.

        • Brian

          Alas, in Canada, “cultural appropriation” is too-readily tossed about, especially where the First Nations are concerned. If only they understood that admiration, and the resulting inspiration, isn’t appropriation.

          • Eddie

            I personally don’t wish to infringe on our Native Americans as to their traditions. Additionally I do admire their culture and want to be open minded and appreciate their noble heritage. If given the chance, I would like to learn about them more through their people.

      • Asher

        Hey, sounds like my teen years. I actually made a breechcloth and leggings (not buckskin unfortunately) and I liked to wander around our back woods in it. I wasn’t as carefree as I would’ve liked, because the neighbor kids occasionally wandered back there too (none my age) but thankfully never ran into them. It was fun, but I always wanted a friend I could do it with.

  • george

    Most of the SSA people have these desires because their sexual desires are not met. Straight people who have regular sex with wives or partners, they satesfy these desires during their sexual intercourse. If they (osa) didnot have their urges satisfied, they would have the same nudist desires as SSA people have.
    So the problem is unmet / unsatisfied desires. When a person gets naked at least twice in a week with another person who touches him and has sex with, will have not this endless nudist desires as we, SSA people have. It is as simple as 2+2=4. It does not need profound philosophical digging.

    • George, you’ve commented quite a bit about the causation of SSA. It’s a losing conversation, as we all have our theories. Let’s focus instead on the content matter and storytelling rather than endless debating. Our community works better with stories.

      • george

        Well, am I only one who may mention any issue twice? And the story was about nudity wasn’t it? So I wrote what I think- causations of nudist desires.!that’s it. Tell me openly if you don’t want me to post different views from yours and I won’t.

      • mike

        Yes, story is important and powerful. But it’s the interpretation of one’s story that is critical I think. Because the stories we listen to are powerful in that they have the power to both define –and distort–life! So, we need to be careful what stories we listen to.
        The story of the blind man in John 9 is a case in point. The man likely thought he was born blind because of sin: his or his parents. But that’s not what’s important. Purpose is. And when story finds purpose it becomes testimony as yours is Tom as you are a gift to the Church both by this blog and your ability for empathy enriches others.
        For years my story got distorted as I chased the rabbit holes of reparative therapy for my SSA. That story really distorted things and wasted a lot of time, money, and frustration.
        Yes, the field of trauma informed addiction therapy is correct in that past traumas/deficits exacerbate the problem but dealing with those doesn’t cure the addiction nor the SSA and cure isn’t the be end all!
        I agree. Debating/arguing regarding nature/nurture is useless. More important is story context. Learning to place our own story into God’s story of redemption gives purpose and makes it powerful testimony which blesses all of us. So glad for you and this blog . Keep up the good work :).

  • Kenny

    Heh–I resemble that remark. Shortly after I fully entered puberty I discovered a fascination with being naked outside, yet terrified I’d be discovered. My family, who had never given me or my sibs any encouragement to such displays, lived on a heavily wooded lot, but the property incorporated and lay adjacent to the power line strip that ran through the neighborhood, such that there was a mile or so of undeveloped deforested land populated mostly by high underbrush and rock and flanked closely by dense woods. A teen-aged naturist’s dream! On my more daring forays, I would “wander” back to the corner of our property, strip off while still in the woods, and leave my clothes behind while I dashed into the underbrush (with care, of course) and communed with nature. The sun feels amazing on your skin, and the adrenaline and testosterone merge into exhilaration. But at 15 a guy’s pretty trigger-happy and is easily overstimulated, with the expected consequence. Then it was a heart-in-throat sneak back to where I’d left clothing and inhibitions behind. To this day, being naked outside remains a thrill, rarely indulged. I doubt I’d ever have the guts to do what you were able to, Eugene. But my heart echoes your words–world, see me being a man, affirm this is how I was created. God, be glorified by your creation.

  • mistaken identity

    My wife and I have a favorite hike near the coast. It ends with a rocky outcrop right beside the Pacific where otters like to play. We read Faulkner and Helprin there and take in the sun. After reading this thread a couple of weeks back. I noticed that the trail could be clearly seen for a quarter of a mile in each direction. So I can enjoy a nudist romp on the rocks and then a good part of the hike back without endangering children or sickening other hikers. We really should be doing other hikes more frequently as they are more challenging and better promote fitness, but this hike has been the go to one lately. Last Saturday I called out to our otter friend, “If this disturbs you, you can blame Euguene. Send all complaints to YOB.”

  • Alex Cochell

    I definitely wasn’t as obsessed with nudist activities as being free and vulnerable with other guys as you said. I had my fair share of looking up different things I could do naked outside without getting caught. It never really satisfied me though. It always came back to wanting to be with other men naked. I’ve always wanted that without fully knowing that that is what I’ve wanted for so long. Of course this turned into an unhealthy outlet of porn. There never seemed to be any videos that I could find of men just hanging out naked together doing normal things. It would always turn sexual. Because of this I also gave in to the sexualness of porn without even really wanting it.

    • Eugene Heffron

      Yeah, the reason I looked up nudist stuff was because it was supposed to be about nudity with no sexual activities occurring. I literally could not find any other place that had this without it being sexual. But even though I was looking up videos of naked people with no sexual activity occurring, it was still sexual for me. The fact that it wasn’t sexual made it sexual as bizarre as that sounds. But its not an entirely sexual thing for me though. I feel like wanting to be naked with men though has a strong non sexual side of it for me because its like a platonic physical act of intimacy and vulnerability to form connections.

      • Alex Cochell

        I totally agree man. Even though it’s sexual it’s not sexual. To be honest though, I’m not even sure that’s what would satisfy my desires, I’ve just heard from largely this site that it has worked for a lot of people. I’ve never been able to have true freedom and vulnerability and intimacy with another human. It makes sense to me so I want to try it if I ever get the chance, but I obviously want to not be weird about it also. I just want a naturally intimate relationship.

        • Eugene Heffron

          Yeah even though I’ve had some healthy experiences being non sexually naked with others I can say I don’t really feel totally “satisfied” at least not yet since I haven’t had a ton. But then again, I’m not sure anything will leave me entirely satisfied except what I get from God. Still, I feel like those experiences were very helpful and beneficial. Feel free to shoot me an email and I can get into some of the details plus I’d like to hear some more of your story as well.

          • Alex Cochell

            Alright cool. I emailed you.

        • Asher

          Alex, you’re not alone. I’m married with kids, and I’m happy with my sex life, so I’ve always been a little weirded out by this itch I can’t scratch. Like, shouldn’t my relationship with my wife be enough for this kind of thing? It’s been amazing since finding YOB pretty recently starting to figure this stuff out, and there may actually be rational explanations, and that there’s other guys as *weird* as I am. It’s also led to more of a longing for it-I’ve never had quite as deep of a male friendships as I’d like. I’ve just been trying to trust that God is enough, and while these desires may not be bad, whether I ever actually get the opportunity is up to Him.
          Personally, I’ve always wanted to hang out at the beach with my friends all in speedos. Like you’re saying, not anything sexual, just guy horsing around time, play volleyball or whatever. Skinny-dipping too.

          • Alex Cochell

            Agreed Asher. Thanks for the openness. That’s so funny I’ve wanted to do the speedo thing too with friends. You’re speaking my language man. I love volleyball.

          • IntegrAlone

            I appreciate your comments. I can totally relate. I don’t respond too much on here because I’m better one on one, but feel free to email me too if you like.

          • Alex Cochell

            I’m not sure how to email you. Sorry

      • Asher

        Same here. Looking up “videos (or pics) of naked people with no sexual activity occurring” it’s like I start getting aroused and then I’m like “stop that, I don’t want the sexual part, just the open and free part.”

  • Asher

    Not trying to find any universal cause. Just want to share my story about what I think contributed to my SSA and nud
    ity fixation, and find who identifies.
    Two generalizations (which means there are exceptions and varying degrees) Males need:
    Fatherly love, affection, approval, and affirmation, including body self-image
    Male friendships, including non-sexual touch
    My dad never went shirtless. Don’t know why, he had 3 brothers, wasn’t out of shape or anything. But that made me think that it was somehow taboo. I wanted to go shirtless, especially when other guys did, but in my teens both going shirtless and seeing others my age got me going pretty well, which caused a lot of guilt. I think if my dad had been ok with it, it wouldn’t have ever been a big deal. I didn’t get much on that fatherly list from my dad. He wasn’t a bad father, no temper to speak of, not abusive, had good qualities to emulate. But he didn’t bother (or didn’t know how) to form any connections. I’m 32 and the best I can describe our relationship is business colleagues. How does this relate to SSA and nudity? Body image is a big one for me. I’m pretty vain and insecure about my attractiveness (despite my wife assuring me I have nothing to worry about) but while her admiration puts me on top of the world, I feel the need for it from a male source too (not necessarily sexually). I think our fathers are supposed to provide a lot of that confidence and self-esteem as it relates to body-image. Many cultures include same-sex family bathing. Eugene (I think it was his article) has said he was curious about seeing his Dad naked. There’s a vulnerability and closeness about being naked that goes hand-in hand with emotional closeness. There’s also seldom been a time or place in world history that frowns on same-sex nudity quite as much as modern America. I think the lack of relationship with my father caused me to seek that closeness from others, both in friendship and shared nudity. But being a hormonal teenager when dealing with it all, it also got sexualized. I know these ideas have been tossed around on here other places, partly I’m writing for myself, partly to connect with people who can relate. I’ll write another post about the friendship and touch needs, unless someone wants to tell me I talk too much. 😉 God bless!

    • mistaken identity

      It all makes perfect sense to me, Asher, and I identify with all of it. You don’t talk too much. Keep at it.

      • Asher

        Thanks MI and Eddy. I sometimes tend to be long-winded, and I’m a bit self-conscious about it. I guess that post wasn’t too long though.

    • Eddie

      We’re here to share our stories Asher. You don’t talk too much and please do keep sharing. What I have been taught in studying the human condition is “people are funny.” To me it means people are amazingly diverse and this is certainly true when it comes to different generations of people (children of the Depression, baby boomers, Gen X, millenials, etc.). Each generation is influenced by the culture they grew up in and this same culture worked to shape the values of its members. Your view is understandably not the same as your father’s. Same goes for my father as well. I want to be happy in my job while my dad is more concerned with how much money I make. I concur with you that fathers are supppse to play a crucial role in any child’s development, yet how and where they place that importance can vary. In my case, I needed more male affection and affirmation from my dad, but he valued just simply being a good provider (and he was). I tend not to fault my father for being who he is intrinsically. I too tried to seek out male affirmation and the like from others although nothing ever came to true fruition. At this stage of my life (44 y/o), I simply try to garner what I can in the way of relationships with both God and my fellow other brothers.

    • Eugene Heffron

      Hi Asher! I agree with a lot of what you said. There’s nothing inherently wrong with same sex nudity but like you said modern America seems to be the culture that has stigmatized it as taboo when it didn’t use to be. I will say you must be confusing my article with someone else’s as I never had much curiosity about seeing my Dad naked. Other than that, I think you hit the nail on the head a lot there.

      • Asher

        Sorry about that Eugene! Thanks for the feedback and the correction. I swear I’ve read half the content of YOB since I found it three weeks ago, I guess my memory’s not as good as I thought.

    • Kenny

      Odd, in that I’ve never considered male shirtlessness all that remarkable. There are many men with very handsome and well-proportioned torsos, and I particularly admire a tight, flat belly and narrow waist, but that’s as far as it goes.

  • I must say, YOB covers even the more “delicate” topics of this uncommon journey, quite well!

    First admission… I looked for this specific topic, wondering if anyone had been brave enough to bring up the nudity issue here for discussion yet. Second admission… I enjoyed Eugene’s openness about it, identifying with most of what he shared to a great degree, and all of what he shared to at least some degree.

    Non-sexual shared nudity, to me, is the ultimate human expression of “vulnerability” and “openness” with someone else. And when it is shared with another guy (a close friend), I find that there is a powerful bond of a deeper level of trust that is formed.

    Most guys who’ve never dealt with the SSA issues that we all have, seem to take this all in stride, and never notice any of the deeper levels of male-bonding that are involved. I mean, “guys” aren’t supposed to pay attention to stuff like that when they are naked together… right? Yeah, well, whatever. But I get it that most of us who feel the voids we have, probably do realize it… a lot!

    Cut to the chase… So there is a county park at a lake, just over an hour from me, where adult-only public nudity is completely legal. And I longed to experience it myself.

    Before I went (yes, of course I eventually went), one of the things I wanted the experience to be was completely non-sexual. Personally speaking, that’s code for “I don’t want to get an erection while I’m there.” I was pretty in-toich with the voids I felt inside, and the personal “whys” I felt in “needing” this experience for myself. And the deeper masculine confidence, camaraderie and acceptance that Eugene touched upon is all a huge part of that.

    So, I went… and in no time at all, I too was “hooked.” To repeat Eugene’s sentiment… What a rush!

    I kept to myself that first time, and did a lot of soul-searching and (if I may say so without offending) talking to God to be sure that my heart was in the right place in what I was experiencing there. But the Holy Spirit did not convict my heart about any of it.

    The next time I went, I longed to interact with someone for all of the same reasons I previously mentioned. That same day, I was solicited in the park by a guy who obviously had something more in mind. I tried to be gracious, and simply walked away. “That is not why I came here.”

    Then my path crossed with a guy named Kyle. He was exercising, climing up and down the rocky banks, preparing to go and climb Mount Fugiyama, Japan, of all things! I know all of this because I ended up walking with him up and down those rocks for well over an hour, just the two of us talking about seemingly “normal” things and getting to know each other… and the only “odd” thing by stereotypically “Christian” standards was that we were both butt naked as we walked together. Wow… what an awesome experience that was! And no erections… no unwanted thoughts. Just two guys who chose to share the experience of it.

    I’ve not seen Kyle again since then, and he probably doesn’t even realize the enrichment that he deposited into me that day, simply by “allowing” me that male interaction experience, and the openness of the conversation we shared… all while completely naked, with the exception of our shoes.

    I’ve been to that park a total of five times, counting the first time, and it really is an enjoyable experience for me.

    Now I guess I shouldn’t throw all caution to the wind either. My wife (yes, I’m married) is not comfortable with me going to a nudist park, and does not like the idea in the least. But it was something I needed for my journey, and I’d probably go again and again, given the opportunity to do so.

    And my final caution is a biblical one. Paul warned us never to allow any “freedom” we find in Christ to become a stumbling block to someone else. And so I’d also caution my Other Brothers here not to easily view my experience as “license” to immediately go out and do likewise. We all have to be constantly aware of where we are within our own individual journeys, and we have to sleep peacefully with ourselves every night as well. So, keep your eyes on Christ, first and foremost if you have in mind to try anything like this for yourself. It may be that it would be a reckless decision for some of us, in our own journeys with Christ.

    http://www.beyondtheshadesofgray.org

    • Eugene Heffron

      Thank you so much for sharing your story Dean! Very fascinating to hear that you had similar stories yourself. I’ve noticed exhibitionism and nudism are common amongst SSA men both side A and side B which I thought would be interesting to discuss. And yeah, one thing I will get into later in my story is that I don’t think SSA men MUST partake in nude experiences or anything. Odds are there are some that would find it too triggering which I would understand. All of our stories are very similar but come in different shapes and colors.

  • Kenny

    Eugene, you’ve inspired me. Recently I’ve had some amazing outdoor naked experiences while traveling abroad. If anyone is interested, I can try to describe what occurred. But you’re right–what a great rush it gave me, and I’ll be looking for similar experiences back in the States.